After back to back losses to the Bears and the Vikings, the Bengals are now just 5-9 straight up and 7-7 against the spread. At home, they are 3-4 SU and ATS, and when the underdog, they are 1-6 straight up and 4-3 ATS. On the flip side, the Lions have had an impressive road game this season, going 5-2 which includes a 4-2-1 mark ATS.
Betting Preview for the Detroit Lions vs Cincinnati Bengals NFL Week 16 Game on December 24 2017
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
When: Sunday, December 24, 1:00 PM EST
Line: Detroit Lions (-5) vs Cincinnati Bengals (+5) – view all 2017 NFL lines
TV Broadcast: Fox
Betting on the Detroit Lions (8-4)
Being a Lions fan is never easy but especially not when the team is actually good enough. It wasn’t the prettiest but they beat the Bears last week to stay alive in the playoff hunt. This time they did not need any heroics from Matthew Stafford. He was just effective and efficient and when the defense plays like it can that is enough.
Detroit is never going to be a great running team but they were reasonably committed to it and average more than 4 yards per carry on 20 carries. It takes the pressure off and shortens the game. It wasn’t for big yardage but I like the fact that the Lions are featuring Eric Ebron more of late. Stafford has a big arm but it does not mean they have to look deep as much as they have in the past. Stafford really spread the ball around last week with 7 receivers having three or more catches. That is what you do when you don’t really have a number one guy.
The Detroit Lions are capable of playing good defense. They forced rookie QB Mitch Trubisky into three picks a week ago and they can be opportunistic like that. Especially important last week was the way they shut down the ground game. Jordan Howard is the offense for Chicago and they completely took him away. This is another defensive matchup that the Lions can handle. Cincinnati has been a mess offensively the whole season and I doubt they are going to figure things out now.
Betting on the Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
It has been a pretty hapless season for the Bengals but they were technically in it for a while. Things have really unraveled over the last couple of weeks. They have lost by a combined score of 67-14 to other NFC North teams. This is the worst offense in the league right now and they are getting worse as the season progresses. They have had back to back games with under 200 yards of offense.
Andy Dalton has had some moments leading the Bengals but you have to wonder if, like the coach, his time is up. He was pulled from the game last week as he hit a new low in QB rating at 27.3. A running game that was supposed to be a strength this season is dead last in the NFL averaging a paltry 77 yards per game. It has to be the offensive line right? That would explain some of Dalton’s failings too.
The Bengals defense has been holding up most of the season but when you look at the last couple of weeks you have to wonder if it hit the breaking point. I am not expecting a command performance. They are solid against the pass ranking in the TOP 10 but worst in the NFL against the run. I am wondering if it has ever been the case that a team has finished at the bottom of the league rushing and defending the run.
It would be so Lions to drop a bomb here and lose outright but I think they will have enough resolve in this situation to get the job done. This will be an interesting line to watch. You have to think it will be in a lot of teasers to get the Lions inside three points.
The Bengals have not been an automatic fade this season. They may frustrate but they are covering half of the time so buyer beware I guess. Not sure who starts at QB. Pick: Detroit Lions (-5.0)
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